PDAir Sony CLIE TG50 Face Covers Review


Product Requirements:
Sony CLIÉ TG50

PDAir Leather Face Cover for TG50

I like leather. Sure, it might not be the most PC (politically correct)
preference ever, but there is just something about the feel of leather in my
hands that makes old Mikey smile. So, when I saw that
Brando was offering leather replacement
covers for the TG50, I made the aforementioned facial expression as I popped out
the credit card…

Is there anything wrong with the metallic plastic cover that ships with the
TG? No. The PDair cover is just something
new…an accessory to distinguish me from the other fifteen TG50 owners out there.

The cover is available in three different styles/colors; smooth black, litchi
black, or litchi brown. I had to go with the brown… Man, was I disappointed.

The envelope from Hong Kong arrived, and I quickly ran to my office and
ripped it open. The stock cover was ripped from my CLIÉ and its new leather
shield was installed. My first thought was that it looked a little crooked.
Indeed, the cover is a little too large to fit the device, and waggles from side
to side – fitting properly on one side of the PDA, and overhanging the other.

Also, the locking mechanism featured on the TG50 stock cover was not present
on this item, allowing the cover to open and close at the whim of gravity. Two
little nubs that insert into the PDA accomplish attachment of the cover. This
fact is odd in that the other cover offering from PDAir (featured below)
utilizes the hardware from the stock cover to retain the fit and operation of
the original.

On the plus side, I did like the quality of the leather, but it really is the
only high point of this accessory.


Price: $15.00 From


Protects Screen

Cover Does Not Fit Properly
Does Not “Lock” In Positions – Flops


PDAir Clear Face Cover for TG50

Ah…the TG50 – the Saab of the Sony Palm Universe. I love that little guy, but
for a quick check of ToDo’s or the time, the seconds wasted in the opening of
the cover could be much better used scanning over PDA news sites…if only there
were a better way…

Sure, I could just remove the Sony hard cover, but knowing me they way that I
do – it would just be a bad idea (the last screen I broke was on my
and I intend for it to be my last…). A clear cover would be great, but a full
cover would be limited in its usefulness – a person can not live by jog/back
alone, right?

Brando answered all of my hopes with the PDAir Clear Screen Cover.

“Twelve bucks for a little piece of transparent plastic?!?” Yeah, you heard

The first hurdle of this item is a piece of minor, outpatient surgery to the
Sony cover. You know those satisfying little “clicks” as the cover opens and
closes? Well, we need to remove the “clickers” for this new cover to work. The
procedure is not terribly difficult, just be sure to exactly mimic the
orientation of the clickers from the old cover to new (I spent 15 minutes
cussing, thinking that I had loused everything up before I realized that they
were in 90 degrees off).

Once attached properly, this clear cover is a dream come true. Quick checking
of items is a breeze, and I no longer felt the urge to say “beam me up,”
whenever turning the device on.

Viewing of the screen is about 90% with the cover closed (I occasionally have
trouble reading journal entries when in my Stowaway) and can be wiped clean with
any old piece of cloth – try that on your PDA screen (Kidding! I don’t need any
more law suits on my hands!).

Some forum posts here and there refer to fears of scratching of the plastic,
but I have had no problems in this sense after a month of Mikey combat

Okay, there is a problem with this cover, and it is a doozie…

The icons to denote the buttons are somewhat distorted by the curve of the
case. Yeah, big deal. I remapped the buttons ages ago, and it is barely even
worth mentioning.

To put it bluntly, I like the clear cover as much as I dislike the leather
one (for those of you who skipped down, look above for previously mentioned
rant). If you have a TG50, you need this cover (had I not already ranted in this
review I would get into one of those “this PDA should have shipped with this”
kind of things, but I know my limit…).

Get one, you will not be disappointed.

Price: $12.00 From Brando

See-thru screen protection
Full use of buttons when closed

App Button Icons Distorted
Installation Tricky


Product Information

  • See-thru screen protection
  • Full use of buttons when closed
  • App Button Icons Distorted
  • Installation Tricky
{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Judie June 18, 2004, 6:47 pm

    Post your comments here on the WindChaser Portable Ice Maker.


    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • BluesFan June 18, 2004, 7:59 pm

    One could argue that you could just put your R/O water into ice cube trays. 🙂

    Also, why does the ice have a hole in the middle? I didn’t quite “get” how it makes the ice. Does the ice form on the things hanging down and then fall off? If that’s the case, then I see about the hole in the middle.

    And it seems you might have to boil your water to get clear cubes. A quick google search revealed the following info.

    Let me know if that works! I wonder if it would work for cube trays…

  • trophyofgrace June 18, 2004, 8:03 pm

    One of the richest families in my town has a R/O filter installed in their home, and let me tell you, the water feels like LOTION! It is so soft and clean. It smells and tastes wonderful.

  • Judie June 18, 2004, 8:10 pm

    Bluesfan – Yah, I could make the ice in trays – but it would still take up valuable room in my stocked freezer, and it might pick up food smells, too. 😡 😉

    The ice is made by water coming through the middle if the ice-jet – it must push up on the jet as it comes out, freeze, then it is dropped off – causing a hollow core.

    Boiling water is too much like work- so I’ll deal with the hazy ice, at leasts it tastes wonderful. 😉

    Tyler – we were quoted over $2k to put in a R/O system, and a water softener would have been even more. Then there are the monthly costs assosiated with having the systems. While I would love to make the splurge, we don’t plan on living in this house forever, so this is working just fine for now. 🙂

    Judie :0)

  • trophyofgrace June 18, 2004, 8:47 pm

    I had no idea they are so expensive! No wonder the family that has it in my town is the richest…

  • Ben S June 20, 2004, 1:07 am

    $2,000 for an R/O system really isn’t that much if you consider that really bad water will eventually ruin your dishwasher (and the dishes), clothes washer (and the clothes), fridge (if it has build-in ice making facilities), etc… You can get a good 20 years out of most appliances if your water’s OK. Where I used to live in Texas (Midland), an R/O and water softening system was a basic home requirement, like air-conditioning 🙂

    As for the funky food smells… buy a couple of boxes of baking soda… they even make a specially designed box with air-filters on both sides, so there’s no chance of spilling baking soda into your fridge.

    Mind you, an ice maker would be pretty darn cool for a rec room, bar, or maybe in the garage with your “drinks” fridge 🙂

    Then of course, there’s always the lure of setting up your own soda fountain!

  • Judie June 20, 2004, 3:32 am

    ooooh – my own soda fountain…unlimited Diet Cokes…. 😀

  • doteltech June 24, 2004, 12:54 am

    Clear cubes vs. foggie. Water purity has little to do with the transperancy of ice. the main factor of how clear ice is, is how quickly it is frozen. Slowly (over the period of hours) frozen ice will be clear. where rapidly frozen ice will be cloudy. This is not due to impure water. but trapped air inside the icecube. Slowly frozen ice allows all the mixed air to escape in time, leaving a pretty crystal cube. However the rapid frozen ice will trap air bubbles resulting in cloudy ice.

    boiling water and placing boiling hot water in freezer, will result in longer freeze time, allowing air to escape.

  • Judie June 24, 2004, 1:02 am

    Ahhh – thank you for the “clear” explanation. 🙂

  • ke4tgf July 8, 2004, 12:58 am

    I bought two of these machines:) and for the first three months thought they were great. but after they both broke, one broke twice I wasn’t real happy:(

    I have repeatedly tried to contact winchaserproduct on their “customer service” number and they do not answer but take a message with a promice to call back, they must have very long noses. I would recommend this produce to no one and would suggest that companies not carry this product as the ill feeling toward windchaser will come back on them. Also if you can contact them (good luck) their warrenty says you have to ship the unit back at your (as in 50 pounds) expense.

    Feel free to email me for details.


  • Judie July 8, 2004, 1:40 am


    You might check the terms of your credit card, if you used one to purchase your icemakers.

    I used an American Express Gold, which provides the following:



    So far, I still love the ice-maker and am having no trouble whatsoever with it.

    Judie :0)

  • mlarson9@juno.com July 10, 2004, 12:01 am

    Like Gil, my ice maker broke after about 3 months. I had 1 unanswered email and left 1 message that didn’t get returned. Today I finally got a live person, they tole me the ‘ice pusher’ is on order and took my name and numer to call me when it came in. I’ll let you know if they come thru with the part…$400 is alot of money to spend especially if its not working!

  • dmcguire January 5, 2005, 10:51 pm

    We also purchased 2 of these models. One broke after 3 months and the other is ok. The one that broke I have had nothing but problems trying to get a replacement part for. I actually spoke with a person who stated he would ship the part. I called after not receiving the part after 2 weeks and reached a real person again. He stated they missed me on the shipment and it would go out that day. He even e-mailed me a UPS tracking number. I tracked the number and for over 1.5 weeks it has never been picked up from their facility. I have tried at least 5 times to call this week only to leave messages that are never returned. Help me, if we ban together maybe we can get a solution. Should we report to the BBB?
    Thanks for listening.

  • icebrain January 26, 2005, 10:47 pm

    I am in the refrigeration and ice making industry, and just returned from visiting one factory where these products are made in China. These types of products are made by several competitors in China, all function pretty much the same design, but with different housings. (Also probably explains why parts may be slow to arrive if Sunchaser doesn’t have a good parts stock- I don’t think they make these themselves).

    According to the manufacturer I visited (one of the largest) this product is starting to catch on in Europe and the USA and several appliance companies here are taking interest in them — they are starting to make private label versions for a number of companies. Perhaps this will cause prices to reduce. These sell for considerably less in China than the $350 – $390 prices here in the USA.

    I had a chance to see these products on the assembly line and in test, so to clear up the way that these machines make ice:

    water is pumped into a shallow tray that sits under 12 stainless steel rods or fingers that stick down into the tray. These rods are hollow and circulate refrigerant, making the rods cold, and ice forms onto the rods. The size of the cube is controlled by changing the cycle time that the rods are in the water.

    At the end of the cycle, the water tray swivels out of the way (the water in the tray falls back into the water reservoir when this happens). The control then activates a valve that reverses the refrigeration cycle, causing the stainless finger rods to warm up instead of getting cold. This releases the cube from the rod. (the rod is also the cause of the “hole in the ice cube)

    Then another scooper mechanism slides forward which pushes the cubes forward until they dump into the holding basket. The scooper retracts, the ice tray rotates back under the rods, refills with water, and the cycle starts again. A very slick little machine.

    Regarding clear ice, the posts concerning air and impurities in the water are correct. Speed has nothing to do with it, as commercial ice machines make a new sheet of ice every 8-10 minutes – very fast. The temperature that you store ice is also important, and commercial ice machines do not have a frozen compartment for this reason, relying on the bulk of the ice in the bin to hold the product, until it eventually melts.

    If you keep ice below about 22 degrees F, it develops microfractures which also clouds it up. This is why ice merchandisers in front of the gas station only cool to about 24F, and if you buy a bag of ice and then put it in your deep freeze a day later it will no longer be as clear. If you are able to get the Windchaser to make clear ice in the first place by boiling it and removing the impurities and air (don’t know if this will work) the bin has no refrigeration, so it should stay clear… it melts and the water reservoir is below the holding basket, so the water recycles.

  • Judie January 27, 2005, 12:01 am

    icebrain, since you are in the industry: do you have any idea what might be going wrong with the units that people have posted about? There seems to be a common problem where the ice-makers will stop working at around the three month mark. I’ll leave you to read the other comments, but if you have any suggestions that an owner could try – short of sending the 50 pound unit in for service, then I am sure our readers would appreciate it.
    Judie :0)

  • Penster March 10, 2005, 6:39 pm

    I bought one of these ice machines and sat it on my cabinet waiting for the for the time that I could plug the machine in and make Ice. Well the time came I plugged it in and it made 1 round of ice. The next afternoon it decided to make another round of ice. No matter how full the water tank was it said low water. I boxed this machine back up and took it back from the store that I bought it from. I exchanged it for another ice machine. I again put it on my cabinet and waited the correct amount of time and then plugged it in. It made 4 rounds of ice. The low water light came on and it will not make anymore ice. The water tank is full. I will be taking this machine back and getting my money back. I will never purchase any thing from this company again.

  • Judie March 10, 2005, 6:45 pm

    Well, then I think the consensus is in – these machines do not have consistant quality. I will post an addendum in the review and direct people to read the reports in this thread. Thank you all for submitting your experiences!

    We finally broke down and bought a refrigerator with an in-door icemaker, so I am not even using mine any more. :blink:

  • Rodger June 10, 2005, 4:37 am

    I just received a Wind Chaser purchased on R-Bay without a manual. I guessed, and filled the tank under the ice tray and pressed start. I made one round of ice and the red lite for low water went on. Am I supposed to wait for something before pressing start. Is there someplace I can view the operating manual? Thanks for any hekp.

  • madathe July 12, 2005, 11:00 pm


  • Judie July 12, 2005, 11:39 pm

    How recently? If it was within the return period, then you should send it back and get a refund.

    If not, then you may have to take issue with the company you ordered from, Windchaser directly, or with your credit card company.

  • dcohalla August 21, 2005, 3:13 pm


    I’m not an icemaker tech, but have had my share of troubleshooting appliances like these and others. 😉

    I would guess (having not seen or touched one 😀 ) that on the machine that constantly indicates low water has a sensor problem; i.e. corrosion, defective part, loose wire, etc. Other possibility might be a defective thermistor (basically a temp sensing device inside the unit itself which tells the machine what to do & when…basically). Really hard to say for certain, but wouldn’t expect to see these problems on a relatively new machine. Have seen similar problems on standard refrigerator ice makers, but usually units w/some age.

    Have seen humidifiers that have little wire water level sensors that w/in two fills have coated the sensor wire and the sensor then tells the machine there is no water and therfore it won’t run. Tap water has lots of minerals and “stuff” in it that if heavy enough, might be coating the sensor– but just a guess on my part. However, that would explain why the original test with R/O water didn’t have those problems. I know on the humidifiers that have such a sensor, they warn you to check it if you have a “no-go” scenario and how to clean it…

    Just out of curiosity, if you look down in the tank, do you see a little wire sticking out at about 2/3 way down in the tank?

    Either way, it’s definitely not something the end-user should have to fuss with.
    Let me know.

  • Cheffiementus August 27, 2005, 12:30 am

    There was a question about the “low water” blinker staying on even if the water reservoir was full. I have one idea worth trying that comes from two experiences.

    I believe that the low water sensor is electronic, and the way it “tells” water is in the reservoir is to measure the conductivity. My old Pasquini Livia espresso machine had such a sensor and, unless I added three or four grains of salt to the RO water, the LED would flash for days.

    I also have one of the Master/SunPenTown/MagicChef/Sno brand portable ice makers–I bought mine locally from Master, who claims to make it in the PRC and OEM it to other companies–and asked the onsite engineer Steve about the issue. His line of ice makers does indeed use a conductivity sensor and if you are using very clean water, in my case RO, it may help to have just a smidge of salt added to the reservoir whenever you fill up.

    Just my $.02. Hope it is somewhat helpful.

  • dcohalla August 27, 2005, 6:07 am

    Good call. Didnt think about an electronic sensor. The RO water would be too pure and therefore too poor a conductor…
    One would think that if a company was making ice machines they’d think about people using purified water so they could have “good” ice. Most likely a limitation of electronics I would imagine. A couple grains of salt most likely doesn’t “taint” the ice tho.

  • shipsurvey September 6, 2005, 11:35 pm

    Who can help out

    Been looking at these things for months. How often do you have to fill the resevoir? It looks like the price is dropping like a rock? Does that mean they will disappear. Thanks for your input.

  • Judie September 6, 2005, 11:58 pm

    You have to refill the reservoir every time it reaches a certain level – it just depends on how often you need or make ice.

    The price is probably dropping because these are not reliable. If you have read the previous comments, then you’ll know that performance is iffy and there is a better than 50% chance that after 3 months the unit will no longer work properly.

  • shipsurvey September 7, 2005, 1:16 am

    Thanks Judie I was afraid of the quality issue. We can buy the things for $150.00 now but……Though it was too good to be true. My water question should have been, if you made ice cubes for 8 hours, how many times would you have to fill it up. And by the way the points about the RO water and the sensor are absolutly correct and valid. We have run across this problem with many other types of equipment.

  • Disappointed Owner October 18, 2005, 5:06 am

    I purchased a Windchaser Ice machine and despite the noise I was pleased for about 4 months. Now, i am soooooo disappointed 😡

    I used filtered h2o because i didnt want chemicals/elements to clog the inner plumbing. I liked the soft ice that it made but noticed how quickly it melted. I thought it also had a freezer compartment that kept the ice frozen after being made. I later realized that the ice would only be stored in a holding area like an ice chest with no freezer area. The only freezing area is actually on the metal rods. If we opened the ice maker door often, it would warm that area of the ice keeper and the ice melted quicker. 🙁

    The ice maker only worked well for a few months. Now, when it fills up the metal rods area, it does NOT stop running. The h2o keeps flowing and running over for a several minutes. Then, it sounds like a compressor or some lil motor keeps surging up & down continually and never completely stops. I notice the rods dont freeze up immediately like they used to. The ice is very thin, hardly frozen, and only about 1/3 the size they normally were. The ice breaks easily and can barely withstand being scooped into a glass. :confused:

    I believe part of the problem is that the freezing rods are faulty since the rods barely freeze anymore. Also, the back of the windchaser is very warm and I am afraid it may start a fire.

    I thoroughly read the Windchaser website troubleshooting tips. I decided to try mixing filtered & tap h2o but no difference was realized.

    I like the entire principle of the ice maker & chest but too expensive if it doesnt withstand a few years. 🙁 😡

    Although, I have been unsuccessful in getting customer phone assistance, i will be persistant to get through.

  • OnTheRocks October 30, 2005, 5:03 pm

    Thanks to all comments to date. Very informative and I am now leaning away from purchasing a WindChaser. However, after all my research I still have the same concerns, finding a portable ice maker that has a freezer compartment for the cubes rather than a compartment that acts as a standard cooler with ice slowly melting away. Is anyone aware of such a product or brand of portable ice maker? If such a product does not exist, what’s the next best alternative (in your opinion)? Thanks to all for your input and guidance.

  • westtexas September 8, 2006, 8:18 pm

    Wondered if anyone had any recent updates. A local chain here (Tuesday Mornings) is blowing these out at $149. I think I now see why.

    However, I’m still interested. I really want one for the RV. Impossible to make a decent amount of ice in that little freezer, and always so darn inconvenient to run to the store for another bag of ice.

    This would be perfect. (assuming it didn’t break down!)


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